It's a holiday week. Fair warning: We are taking the day off tomorrow. Bank holidays are TCJ holidays. Speaking of... us... we're very happy to have received a Harvey nomination for Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation. Thanks very much.
Today on the site:
Joe McCulloch brings us The Week in Comics, because that's his job.
-Bookslut interviews TCJ-contributor Michel Fiffe about fan fiction and his Suicide Squad comic.
-Comix Claptrap features an interview with Dan Zettwoch about his new book, Birdseye Bristoe.
-I've enjoyed Ed Piskor's Wizzywig in its various iterations. I'm really glad it's getting a full release.
-The Believer has an interview with Brian Chippendale on music and comics and art, many months in the making.
-In the history column, Bhob Stewart takes a look at the transforming daily comics page while Daniel Best examines some recent Superman-related legal developments.
And finally, Frank Santoro writes about an Aircel comic. Y'know, it's a funny thing, the surge in interest in 80s-glut action/superhero comics. Surge might even be an exaggeration. In this Twitter/Tumblr feedback loop it's hard to tell what's actually generating lasting interest and what's just a passing click. Anyhow, the point is, most of this interest is from artists -- and really, that's almost the only way these things can be enjoyed -- as material for influence. Frank writes:
The stuff that holds up, to me, sometimes reads like some gang slang. Kinda cool. I'm not trying to convince anyone that these "throwaway" comics are actually any good. I just really like them for the airbrushed tones - real airbrush, none of this Photoshop airbrush crap [...] I doubt any of it is future Art Out of Time material but it is interesting. Even if only for historical reasons. And airbrush coloring.
He's right, it's probably not future Art Out of Time for material, in the sense that it won't, like a lot of the AOOT stuff, broaden and enrich the "canon" (if you'll forgive the term. It's late.). These aren't lost masterpieces, but they contain blips that are almost best seen through, say, Frank's eyes. They're almost impossible to enjoy as they were meant to be enjoyed -- as comics. I mean, they might provide a visceral thrill, but the function has changed. Now they're repositories of technique and attitudes, and ones that have mostly been left unexamined, like a lot of 1980s independent comics, both because of how close we are to that period and because comics was supposed to have transcended that stuff, too. I'm sure there are analogies to be drawn between these comics and z-level horror/SF movies, of course. And... that's all I have on the subject for the moment.